Pool ball collecting.

XPLSV

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Counterfeit Items

I purchased two Spyderco Para Military knives a few years ago. I was very concerned about counterfeits and ensured I ordered from factory licensed resellers. I also ordered a $12 counterfeit direct from China. The $12 copy was nearly identical to the $135 original. Box was nearly identical. Insert had a grammar mistake and a spelling mistake. If I did not have the actual items side by side, I would not have been able to pick out the one as a fake. Kind of scary. I am pretty sure the steel would have been inferior. I don’t use it—it sits in the drawer as the occasional talking point.
 

u12armresl

One Pocket back cutter
Silver Member
I was thinking maybe not post this and if people want to know you can PM them. Surely people forging things would do a quick search and see this valuable information to correct their mistakes.

Hello, everyone. :)

Just to offer my two pence worth on the subject of counterfeits, gentlemen. There are definitely examples of fake Raschig numberless sets out there online. I know this for a fact because I deliberately purchased one recently to further my knowledge and compare with the genuine articles. Here is what was learnt:

1. Original Raschigs all weigh in the region of 163 to 165 grams. The copies are much heavier, some of them are over 175 grams.

2. The yellow stripe on the counterfeit Bumblebee is 31 mm wide, whereas the authentic ball is slightly narrower at 29 mm.

3. Fake Raschig R9s are either supplied in a green Aramith box or the generic black bubble design favoured by Chinese manufacturers. I have yet to see a counterfeit set offered in a genuine-looking blue box with the West Germany logo, but who's to say that won't happen in the future? Buyer beware as always. If there isn't a genuine box present, however tatty, be suspicious.

4. Original Raschigs boast a deep lustre that the copiers have not yet matched.

5. Original Raschigs are fractionally smaller than most standard balls. The counterfeit balls fit extremely snugly in the recesses of my Aramith Tournament case. The originals are very slightly loose.

That's all I can think of for the moment, gentlemen. I hope it might help some.

Best wishes,
RC.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I was thinking maybe not post this and if people want to know you can PM them. Surely people forging things would do a quick search and see this valuable information to correct their mistakes.



A valid point, u12armresl.

My perspective since we’re sharing....

Most consumers think it’s far better to educate the potential buyers of such details and have the knowledge to be able to distinguish the authentic from the imitation on a specialty forum like ours than it is to try and protect the entire world from counterfeiting across the board.

Also, it’s one thing to know what the standard is and actually being able to produce it. Which is exactly why WE must know what to look for. In this case, billiard balls. You can bet every fraudulent manufacturer out there has an authentic example to model.

Lastly, in many countries, like those scattered across the vast continent of Asia, don’t recognize patents and exclusive manufacture - and to point out just a few reasons, to them it is a matter of making product they can sell to meet demand and create jobs. They don’t recognize “patents” even amongst themselves - it stunts growth and development. After all, just because someone made “the first” of anything, does that really mean it’s the best? Surely not. To think that is foolish. And when you get down to patent law and protection where it is recognized, it gets quite complex below the surface details from what we see with a naked eye.

Which is why we’re here to help

Caveat Emptor.
 
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K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Sometimes you see something that catches your eye and the only real reason is “why not”

At first sight, this set that I picked up from another collector just may qualify for that answer:

ac162fb7bacafb77f76fc66d87eac577.jpg


Then....you pull out your jeweler’s scale and put them to the the test of weight....and find they are remarkably within 1.0 grams across all 16 balls. And they are not silk screened numbers or coloring. Roll tests with the stimpmeter are perfect. Zero rolloff. A resin compound that cleans up well with minimal contact abrasions. Throw and skids are non existent with a clean cue ball....

Verdict: if it catches your eye and you like it, then buy them and play them. Bright colors. Bright whites that will make your table lighting look expensive The balls - Inexpensive. Something different. Just for fun.

~ K.
 

poolhustler

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I purchased two Spyderco Para Military knives a few years ago. I was very concerned about counterfeits and ensured I ordered from factory licensed resellers. I also ordered a $12 counterfeit direct from China. The $12 copy was nearly identical to the $135 original. Box was nearly identical. Insert had a grammar mistake and a spelling mistake. If I did not have the actual items side by side, I would not have been able to pick out the one as a fake. Kind of scary. I am pretty sure the steel would have been inferior. I don’t use it—it sits in the drawer as the occasional talking point.

Its a known fact that people were ordering knives from Amazon and the same knives in clones. Then switching them, returning the clone as the original and selling the original without a box. Problem is that people would then buy the returned knife and realized it was a fake.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Since things often come in pairs....or at least similar pairs:


1dc48bd4597f2d8db56618595979c816.jpg


This set comes from the same Chinese manufacturer as the one I shared previous to this one - same whites - variation in color.... and a surprise last night I hadn’t noticed before:

Both sets glow in the dark for hours after it’s lights-out.



~ K.
 
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jviss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Cleaning and Polishing

Since the billiard ball experts are all here, I thought I'd ask: are the cleaner and restorer solutions really any good? I've ordered a spray bottle each of Aramith Cleaner and Restorer, in anticipation of a new table with balls. Do these really work? Any idea of the ingredients?

Thanks,

jv
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Since the billiard ball experts are all here, I thought I'd ask: are the cleaner and restorer solutions really any good? I've ordered a spray bottle each of Aramith Cleaner and Restorer, in anticipation of a new table with balls. Do these really work? Any idea of the ingredients?



Thanks,



jv



Hello, jv -

Do they really work?

957bb97b2c94010de28fd11fd42a651a.jpg


YES. Better than any other product you can use on any modern era phenolic/resin formulation balls. Period. In my opinion, that is, based on results and extensive testing I’ve done. I don’t think there’s a better product out there for our specialty playing equipment (balls) - Trust the product that Aramith puts their name on.

The shortest and best tips I can give, since it’s been covered numerous times in this thread as well as separate threads throughout AZB:


1) ONLY use clean and high quality microfiber towels with your ball sets - a separate towel for the cleaning phases and a separate towel for the wiping/final polish phase.

2) use the smallest amount of Billiard Ball Cleaner (blue label bottle) that can be dabbed on with a partial fingertip.

3) for the most part, you should never use the green label Restorer in a polishing machine of any kind. Ever. It’s much more abrasive. Matter of fact, ONLY use Restorer on the worst of the worst balls imaginable. And then think twice before doing it. Try multiple, gentle uses of the blue bottle cleaner - that will work 99.997% of the time. IF you ever feel that you should use the Restorer, do so gently, and then follow up with 5 to 10 by-hand applications and detail work with the Cleaner.

4) (and worthy of its own number 4 on this list) NOTICE I didn’t mention anything about water or soap, or this or that, or some magic pad tricks that so and so said worked for them. That’s because they simply aren’t the BEST that you can do with ONE easy to get product. Stick to the blue label Aramith Billiard Ball Cleaner.

By all means, fire off an email to me if you’d like any other questions or details about keeping your ball sets in pristine, playable condition for generations.

toKerry@aol.com

Hope that helps, jv



~ K.
 
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jviss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hope that helps, jv



~ K.

Wow, thank you so much for the quick and detailed reply!

I was going to ask about starting with just soap and water, but you've answered that for me. I was also thinking about the eyeglass cleaner I make: 1/2 alcohol, 1/2 distilled water, a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent. In addition, I have a product called Brillianize that I have used over the years on plastic eyeglass lenses, and now on the acrylic lenses on my boat hatches. I really like it. Have you ever used it on pool balls?

Thanks,

jv
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Wow, thank you so much for the quick and detailed reply!



I was going to ask about starting with just soap and water, but you've answered that for me. I was also thinking about the eyeglass cleaner I make: 1/2 alcohol, 1/2 distilled water, a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent. In addition, I have a product called Brillianize that I have used over the years on plastic eyeglass lenses, and now on the acrylic lenses on my boat hatches. I really like it. Have you ever used it on pool balls?



Thanks,



jv



You’re welcome, jv!

Yes, I have the Brillianize product that I use for various other applications of acrylic - and yes, I’ve included that product in testing I’ve done over the years. It is a great product for use as intended - zero abrasives. But it will not “clean” or erase the impact marks or numerous things left behind from pockets or even (most) chalk marks. Abrasion isn’t a bad thing when used properly

I know you’re only asking for advice, which, we all know, there is no shortage of on the world wide web of experts - Which is why I put it all into perspective from my humble point of view in the shortened list of 4) above.

Let me put things another way whilst sipping this amazing Madeline blend from Nespresso...... IF you are willing to bench test your ball set(s) and simply are the adventurous and explorative type, that wants and needs to discover lessons best learned with one’s own experiments, by all means try anything. Which leads me to my point: WOULD YOU do that experimenting on a ball set that you knew no others existed and were priceless to you? Irreplaceable.

Personally, I can recommend the blue label Aramith Billiard Ball Cleaner without once second of delay or thought - Which - I only use on the numerous irreplaceable, ultra rare and priceless ball sets that I have and actually play with - bar none.

Oh - the secret is to really “polish” (buff) the balls by hand with that dedicated microfiber towel after any (cleaning) that you do with the tiniest amount of product.....buff them until they are perfectly free of any compound or residue whatsoever. They will look and play as if new every time.

~ K.
 
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jviss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You’re welcome, jv!

Yes, I have the Brillianize product that I use for various other applications of acrylic - and yes, I’ve included that product in testing I’ve done over the years. It is a great product for use as intended - zero abrasives. But it will not “clean” or erase the impact marks or numerous things left behind from pockets or even (most) chalk marks. Abrasion isn’t a bad thing when used properly

I know you’re only asking for advice, which, we all know, there is no shortage of on the world wide web of experts - Which is why I put it all into perspective from my humble point of view in the shortened list of 4) above.

Let me put things another way whilst sipping this amazing Madeline blend from Nespresso...... IF you are willing to bench test your ball set(s) and simply are the adventurous and explorative type, that wants and needs to discover lessons best learned with one’s own experiments, by all means try anything. Which leads me to my point: WOULD YOU do that experimenting on a ball set that you knew no others existed and were priceless to you? Irreplaceable.

Personally, I can recommend the blue label Aramith Billiard Ball Cleaner without once second of delay or thought - Which - I only use on the numerous irreplaceable, ultra rare and priceless ball sets that I have and actually play with - bar none.

~ K.

Thank you again. I take your point. (BTW, I'm a Nespresso fan, too!) I am not a collector, but would like to have a great, clean set of balls for what will be my first home table. I can't bring myself to purchase a new set of Brunswick Centennials (yet), so I've been looking around at used sets, and at Aramith Tournaments, as well. Best ball set? Don't know.

Also, I apologize for starting yet another ball cleaning thread. I realize now this has been beaten to death! I have the Aramith products on order, I should probably have skipped the restorer at this point, but it's ordered and paid for, at a fairl good price at that ($21 for both, inclusive of shipping). For microfibre cloths I will likely just go to Wal-Mart, unless you have a specific recommendation.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
No worries whatsoever!

This thread is for anyone interested in the balls themselves. Being a “collector” is not a requirement Being a fan of the ball sets we admire or aspire to have or play with is what I think it’s all about. Passing along suggestions and sharing ideas on how best to care for one to 10 ball sets is a pure bonus

No specific MF towels are necessary - just clean and used with care.

~ K.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

couldnthinkof01

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I love this thread just as much as I love looking
through the cue and case gallery or the
for sale section. So many cool sets.
Thank you
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sometimes you see something that catches your eye and the only real reason is “why not”

At first sight, this set that I picked up from another collector just may qualify for that answer:

ac162fb7bacafb77f76fc66d87eac577.jpg


Then....you pull out your jeweler’s scale and put them to the the test of weight....and find they are remarkably within 1.0 grams across all 16 balls. And they are not silk screened numbers or coloring. Roll tests with the stimpmeter are perfect. Zero rolloff. A resin compound that cleans up well with minimal contact abrasions. Throw and skids are non existent with a clean cue ball....

Verdict: if it catches your eye and you like it, then buy them and play them. Bright colors. Bright whites that will make your table lighting look expensive The balls - Inexpensive. Something different. Just for fun.

~ K.

Since things often come in pairs....or at least similar pairs:


1dc48bd4597f2d8db56618595979c816.jpg


This set comes from the same Chinese manufacturer as the one I shared previous to this one - same whites - variation in color.... and a surprise last night I hadn’t noticed before:

Both sets glow in the dark for hours after it’s lights-out.



~ K.

Excellent additions, sir and thank you for sharing! Glow in the dark balls...interesting. One would think you would need glow in the dark pocket liners so you know what your shooting at. I may have to get a set myself to try them out.
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The interesting thing about this discovery is that nothing was mentioned regarding GITD characteristics from the manufacturer in China that I could find. I discovered it by accident when closing down the table for the night and turned back to grab something. I’ll see if I can capture pics worth sharing tonight.

A side note: I’ll admit my curiosity got the best of me, so I did turn the balls over in the tray and turned the lights back on to allow the balls to get full light coverage.....and 5 minutes later it was back to lights out - as I rolled all 16 onto the table. Letting my eyes adjust for a few more minutes, I chalked up and ran balls for a few minutes. No lights on anywhere with the exception of the low output LED night lights here and there. Near perfect darkness. Surprisingly, it turned into a simple exercise in careful concentration on the natural fundamentals and letting the brain calculate quick details to make balls - and my potting success was quite high. I walked away thinking “huh, that was bizarre.” With a smile of course. Cheap GITD balls. I’ll be. No wonder they look so bright and brilliant under the normal table lights.



~ K.
 

XPLSV

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
New Cloth for the Raschigs

As I previously mentioned, the wonderful Raschig 9 Ball set inspired me to put on that new Simonis Tournament Blue cloth and replace my nearly 20 year old Artemis cushions on my 9 foot Diamond Professional table...which I did this weekend. I am the second owner of this lovely table and, despite having the cloth in hand when I acquired it three years ago, kept the almost like new Camel colored cloth on it as there was nothing wrong with it. I do think the Raschigs look even better on the blue background, although that is certainly my personal view. And, while I would never have considered my cushions dead, there is certainly an additional table length off a hard struck cue ball with the new ones!
 

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Buster8001

Did you say shrubberies?
Silver Member
Sometimes you see something that catches your eye and the only real reason is “why not”

At first sight, this set that I picked up from another collector just may qualify for that answer:

ac162fb7bacafb77f76fc66d87eac577.jpg


Then....you pull out your jeweler’s scale and put them to the the test of weight....and find they are remarkably within 1.0 grams across all 16 balls. And they are not silk screened numbers or coloring. Roll tests with the stimpmeter are perfect. Zero rolloff. A resin compound that cleans up well with minimal contact abrasions. Throw and skids are non existent with a clean cue ball....

Verdict: if it catches your eye and you like it, then buy them and play them. Bright colors. Bright whites that will make your table lighting look expensive The balls - Inexpensive. Something different. Just for fun.

~ K.

Since things often come in pairs....or at least similar pairs:


1dc48bd4597f2d8db56618595979c816.jpg


This set comes from the same Chinese manufacturer as the one I shared previous to this one - same whites - variation in color.... and a surprise last night I hadn’t noticed before:

Both sets glow in the dark for hours after it’s lights-out.



~ K.

Two very unique sets. I kinda like them.

Josh
 

K2Kraze

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
First impressions.

Most are fleeting. Many will linger. Very few are ingrained.

On a recent whim, I tried something to test impressions. And what triggers them.

I uncased the following ball set from my Brewery & Spirits section and placed them on the pool table in front of 4 other fellows before starting play for a few hours:

7041fbcf8a8c40f6f6a69ad6cf327f8d.jpg


They walked closer, and I asked: “So tell me, boys, what comes to mind when you see this ball set?”

The answers in no particular order...
* beer
* pool
* some TV commercials way back when - which immediately followed with...
* Steve Mizerak!

Ah ha.

I followed that exclamation by asking the gents to tell me what they remember or know about The Miz. Remarkably, they ALL recalled with fanatical detail where they were, what they were doing and whom they were with when they saw the TV commercial that made Steve Mizerak famous - along with the obligatory “how much better” they all played pool back then as well. Uh huh. Didn’t we all.

On the surface, things typically look one way - but delve a little deeper and the cool and fascinating details begin to emerge.

The details making impressions.

In 1975, Miller Lite changed the way the world thought about beer. And who better to showcase such bravado than one of the most incredible pool players to grace our presence in that era - to be seen in pool-playing bars around the world - but Steve Mizerak - The man from NJ that started shooting pool at 4 years old who grew up and eventually taught school to make a living - and who was also a world champion that very few knew about. The Miz would quite literally become a household name in a mere 29 seconds “just showing off”.

I rattled off a few tidbits about the great Steve Mizerak to do a bit of showing off of my own while I had the floor for a minute or two:

* started playing exhibitions at 6
* he could run 50 balls at age 11 and over 100 by 13
* he turned pro at 13. Yes, you read that right - 13
* his 30+ major tournament victories spanned nearly 30 years
* he won the U.S. OPEN 14.1 Pocket Billiards Championship an unprecedented 4 years straight starting at age 26, besting a few guys in the finals you may have heard about: Lassiter, Balsis and DeLiberto
* he was the youngest person ever inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame in 1980
* he was inducted into the 14.1 Hall Of Fame in 2017
* he said they shot that one scene 191 times because the damn thing was always out of focus or someone sneezed. A door slammed. A light flickered. Always something - taking nearly 9 hours to film it. The best part: he says he never missed the shot.
* overall, revered by all peers as a pure class act and gentleman. A role model if there ever was one.

The pool room stayed mouse-quiet for what seemed like minutes. My four pals were in awe I think of what they didn’t know about Steve Mizerak just moments earlier. I’ve been in awe of the man for decades since meeting him in person back in Las Vegas as a youngster in my early 20’s. Those memories even spawned the idea to have his 11 or so books in a special Mizerak section in my library. Take one home if you like for a fun read. And a few lessons.

Most guys don’t notice the Mizerak books amongst the 450+ selections in my cue sports library or remember the commercials or his VHS tapes - but one thing I do know that they’ll never forget is this Miller Lite ball set and the games we played that day. New memories forged to go with those early first impressions.

2f23efe62edc5992051ba2966a969b55.jpg


For fun, do some quick www searching for things on The Miz and see if he won’t inspire you just a little bit.



~ K.
 
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Rubik's Cube

Pool ball collector.
Silver Member
Yet another superb write up to accompany your beautiful photographs, Mr K. :)

Thank you, dear chap, for taking such time and trouble to really make your valued contributions so entertaining and informative for everyone.

Best wishes,
RC.
 
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